Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The World's Best Wrist Strap Fish Finder and Other Great Christmas Gifts

Catalogs. Catalogs. Catalogs.

It’s that time of year -- of course, catalogs arrive in the mail year round, but with the season of gift giving two months out, the catalogs are coming!!!!  When I worked, these slick little magazines full of materialism and deals piled up like refuse on the table, and many times, I threw them out without so much as glancing at the first page. Now, I have time to look at them [see following blog], and I enjoy perusing the choices of items even though I rarely order them. No harm in looking ---

About a week ago, I received  a mail order catalog from Hammacher Schlemmer, a company of which I was unfamiliar. Hammacher Schlemmer, referred to from now on in this blog as HS, in order to keep the spell check out of spas mode, claims to be “America’s Longest Running Catalog” as well as “offering the best, the only and the unexpected for 167 years.”

Of course, I would have put a comma after “only,” and if truly the catalog is that established, it seems just a few cents at minimum wage back in 1848, would have hired them a decent editor to catch that comma.

But, I digress.

On the second page, the catalog notes the following: “Since 1848, when Hammacher Schlemmer began as a hardware store in New York City’s Bowery district, we have always embraced quality and innovation. Through the items we offer now are more refined, they still reflect out 163 year tradition of providing products that perform an important task and are the best of their kind.”

For the last three months, I have volunteered at my church’s office. Once a week for four hours, I answer the phone: “Church Office, this is Harriett.” I listen to the caller, either answer the question he has [sometimes pretty poorly], transfer the call to the appropriate staff member [it took me a while to catch on to the system -- many buttons involved -- and of course, many times I cut the caller off --whoops ], or I give him directions.

A lot of answering the phone is giving directions. 

In a lot of ways, this volunteer job is like playing “office.” I answer the phone, harass the various ministers as they come in and out of the office [Is that what you do with my tithe money?], or I catch up on reading.

I usually save the catalogs that I receive in the mail for my “office” work,  as there I can leisurely flip through them, contemplate buying the product by putting little post it notes on the page, but just for fun, as I really have no intention, most of the time, of buying anything.

It reminds me of the stories my parents told about Sears and Roebuck’s catalog, but as you know, that’s a story for another blog.

A couple of weeks ago I received HS for the first time, and  as I leafed through its merchandise for sale, I thought, “These items are hilarious.“ [probably not intended to be -- just sayin']

They may not have hired an editor, who would have caught the need for that comma, but they have some comedians on staff.  Some of their items are quirky random -- I was crackin’ up  ---  but they also put some superfluous adjectives to their item names: “the only” or  “world’s best” or  my favorite -- “impervious.”

I love a catalog that uses “impervious” as an adjective.

Here’s a sampling of their items for sale:

“The Best Fingerprint Recognizing Expresso Machine”

“The Best Stainless Steel Wallet’

“The World’s Lightest Impervious Luggage”   

“The Only Touch Sensitive Reacting Dinosaur”

“The World's Best Wrist Strap Fish Finder”

“The Touchscreen Compatible Gloves”

“The 45, 000 Station Car Radio”

“The Only 12 Foot Sprawling Snowman” [as in -- the huge inflatable snowman sprawls in your yard like a Playboy centerfold]

“The Remote Control Tarantula”

Or my favorite…..

“The Marshmallow Wrist Cannon” [which launches mini-marshmallows up to 30”]



That’s what I got.

For now.

1 comment:

  1. I just liked your blog on Facebook...should I tweet it too? LMAO!

    Love this. It totally reminds me of the inflight catalogue but the name escapes me.

    My kids aunt gave him a variation on the Marshmallow Wrist Cannon, his launches the big ones! Do you think she got it from here?